Helpful Tips to Add Shipping, Discounts, And Taxes to Invoices


Adding details such as shipping, discounts, and taxes to your invoice is not just important to your client paying you on time but is also required as per regulations. In addition, having these details specified on the invoice goes a long way in helping you with business expense tracking.

Here are some tips to enabling you to add shipping, discounts, and taxes details in your invoices so that the customers are clear about the invoice break-up, helping you get your money faster.

For taxes

Determine all the applicable taxes beforehand
In India, since tax codes vary from state to state; ensure you collect the tax before adding the tax column to your invoice. For instance, some states only require taxes to be collected from businesses that are registered there. Also, if you are working remotely, you need to check the rate at which your service is taxed in that state. Besides, you may even require a permit before you can add a state’s taxes to your invoice.

Create clear subtotals
The same invoice may have items that are both taxable and non-taxable. In your invoice, if you have items that are taxed at different rates or do not carry a tax, it is prudent to have subtotals for each tax group.

Keep track and remit the taxes
Every time a client or a buyer makes a payment, make a note of it so that you can pay the right amount of sales tax on the invoice when it is due.

    Also Read: Top Benefits of Using a Free Invoice Tool

For discounts

• Figure out what kind of discount you want to give
There are a variety of discounts you can offer to your customers to incentivize brand loyalty. For instance, you can provide student discounts if a substantial portion of your customers fall under that category. Further, you can offer seasonal discounts, loyalty discounts, cash discounts and a discount for even ordering in bulk.

• Be clear on what all products the discounts can be applied to
With cloud-based invoicing software, you have the option of applying discounts to specific items or all of the items or services being purchased. This removes ambiguity and consequently fosters customer trust.

For shipping

• Add all the relevant details
Right at the beginning of the invoice, you need to specify your businesses’ name and address. Further, you need to add the name and contact details of the person to whom your product is being shipped. For record-keeping, you need to include the order number and any other reference numbers that may be required.

Aside from this, make sure that you specify what you are shipping, how much of it you are shipping, a brief description of the product, price per unit and also the total price. To prevent your customers from getting any nasty surprises, you also need to add the various miscellaneous charges involved in the shipping.

Most importantly, have an invoice number at the top for your accounts department to keep track of payments.

• Have a place for the customer’s signature in the invoice
To ensure that your customers are fine with the amount specified on the invoice and your terms and conditions in your shipping invoice for customs, including the last day to pay your invoice, have a designated space for your customers to sign.

• Payment options
Remember to add a note about the different payment methods that you accept to ensure the customer can clear your invoice conveniently.

    Also Read: How to Take the Stress Out of Tax Time

With invoicing software, such as CloudBooks, you no longer have to worry about manually preparing the shipping cost invoice, showing discounts on your invoice, and making the tax details clear every single time. You can automate the work of adding these details in your invoice for your client, saving precious time and money.

A Guide for Small Businesses to File Taxes


Filing business taxes is something that many small businesses find intensely challenging. While large conglomerates set up entire teams of lawyers and accountants to get them the best deals on taxes, when the brunt of paying taxes hits small businesses, it can manifest into an anxiety-filled week at the office. So, if you are still working extra hours due to IRS woes, here is a step-wise guide on how to file business taxes for your small business.

Thoroughly Research Tax Regulations
Not all small businesses are subject to all the taxes required by either the federal government or the IRS for an industry. Even the exemptions are not uniform across an industry. Taxes are a subjective issue, and to deal with them, and avail the exemptions your business deserves, you need to dive in and research all about taxes in your field.

The most reliable sources of research are the entities in charge of taxations, like the IRS for federal income, and state secretary and/or department of revenue for business taxes. Further, local businesses’ taxes on income are also handled by the department of revenue for your state. And the local business registration office will handle all the details related to property and the rest of the taxes. So, make sure to gather all the information available on each of these portals.

One quick tip, small business owners are liable to pay self-employment taxes for social security or medicare on the profit. And only businesses earning less than or exactly $400 a year are exempt. You can calculate this based on the FICA tax (Social Security and Medicare) as applicable, when you file business taxes online.

    Also Read: How to Take the Stress Out of Tax Time

When do businesses have to file taxes? Know for sure
Taxes are as stressful as they are due to the deadlines and the high chances of missing these. So, you should absolutely be sure of the due dates. Mostly, small businesses share the income tax return due date with the personal tax return due dates. This is around April 15. In 2020, this was extended, given the pandemic situation. It is also subject to hostile weather conditions, area-wise, if any.

Further, you can request an extension of six months for tax returns. However, this never includes an extension on payments.

Maintain documentation and fill out forms
The business tax return form has to be filled duly by small businesses, including sole proprietors and private single-member LLCs. This requires a lot of thorough documentation.

Most businesses will need to file, Schedule SE forms for self-employment tax, and Schedule C forms for costs of goods, revenue, tax deductions etc. Small businesses need to provide verifiable information for any business expenses included as tax deductibles. It is important to note that entertainment expenses are not included as deductibles anymore.

    Also Read: Money Managing Tips for Small Businesses

Streamline filing with invoicing software
Maintaining structured reports can be cumbersome for most small businesses, and therefore, it is highly recommended that you use invoicing software that allows you to document taxes.

This is extremely helpful for filing Schedule C and Schedule SE forms, both of which require standardized information uniquely formatted. Also, since most invoicing software solutions enable users to add tax credits, and adjustments as applicable, it makes filing taxes a lot easier.

Sales tax forms in Schedule C require you to include receipts, so businesses using expense tracking software can leverage auto-generated e-receipts for the same.

File taxes through official channels
When it comes to the actual process of filing, you can do it physically by mail or file business taxes online free. Electronic filing of tax forms is also an option convenient for small businesses, as listed on Form 1040 by the IRS. However, do make a note of any additional fees when using tax preparation software.

With the right combination of software and operations, paying taxes on small businesses can become a cakewalk. Hope this guide serves you well for the next tax season.

Five Ways a Time-Tracking Software Can Help Grow Your Business


Every business has a time sheet regime that they hope to adhere to. Most business are paying more than necessary due to exaggerated hours on time sheets. Time tracking software aims to correct undue timesheet entries. This is not to say that your employees are dishonest but it is a simple human tendency to make such errors. A lot of your employees and clients can over estimate the hours the put in, and there are a few underdogs who will under estimate. Either way, you are losing out on the accuracy.

1. Pay your Employees Correctly
2. Make Accurate Estimates
3. Manage Efficiently
4. Compare and Grow
5. How can you Improve?

Pay your Employees Correctly
Every employee has a somewhat correct estimate of how long a team project took. But compile all that and you’ll find a number that is way off the mark. You get a certain amount funding sanctioned for every project and managing that can be tricky if you don’t keep tabs on what your employees are doing. Using a time tracking software can fiercely enable your team with appropriate time logging. Time tracking software free of charge can allow your employees to take into account the work they have done. And get it billed correctly for their own salary and for your clients. This is an especially helpful feature for contractual employees.

Also Read: Benefits of time management software in the workplace

Make Accurate Estimates
What’s the point of working so hard to make good projects, and deliveries on time if you are not even getting paid for what you do. A time tracking software can empower you to make estimates true to the work that you put in as an organization. This is done by making AI backed analysis on your previous work logs and time sheets. You can compile any kind of project with the tasks and the works that go into completion and use a time tracking software to adjust your quotes and estimates. Further, you can link these estimates with your invoicing software for accurate billings.

Manage Efficiently
All things said and done, it is not the easiest job to supervise technically sophisticated employees. Most employees feel judged, and have a sense of privacy invasion every time a manager goes in for a check. You can avoid the unnecessary friction with even a free time tracking software. As it displays the status of the job right on the work desk as you login the next morning. So you have all the vital information you need to keep everyone in check through valuable metrics of tasks performed, hours put in, overall productivity score etc. And this can be managed on the individual level and bird’s eye view. The best part is, most time tracking software are cross platform so you can have a look right on the app.

Also Read: 5 Benefits of Time Tracking Software for Business –Link

Compare and Grow
If you are constantly missing deadlines, and feeling overwhelmed with projects and daily tasks. Obviously, you are doing something wrong. Sit back and analyze where you are going wrong. This is where a time tracking software can be of the utmost help to your organization. Time tracking software allow you to compare your performance over time, with powerful metrics. They allow you to strategize every project using the previous data and the new goal inputs. So you can measure on a project to project basis, the score of your performance.

How can you Improve?
This is the question most organizations ask themselves at the end of every quarter. The most amount of money invested in any business is in its strategic planning. But, time tracking is the cheapest, most strategically advanced tool you need to figure this out. Unlike a real time manager, a time tracking software is ruthless in its judgment of your performance. Get access vital reports, analytics, monitored timelines to strategize. Using a time tracking software, perform productivity audits and pin point the areas you are lagging.